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Army use no solution to Maoist problem

The editorial, “Army against Maoists” (June 12) was timely and rightly pointed out the danger of large-scale human rights violations and international ramifications of those violations. The scale of the problem now is so huge that if the Army crackdown is resorted to, it may result in the killing of many people and that will change the nature of Indian polity for a very long time to come. The PM is aware of the danger and is, therefore, reluctant to endorse a military assault.

A proper understanding of the roots of the Maoist conflict would demand a political and economic analysis of forest management in India and its links with the macro- economy. Instead of seeking a militaristic solution to the problem, it is imperative that the paradigm of development that has led to the conflict is examined with an open mind. The starting point in that direction would be to initiate a process of dialogue with the Maoists and other organisations working in the affected regions.

What kind of India we want to build — a fair and egalitarian or militarised and authoritarian — would depend very critically on how we respond to the issues raised by the Maoist-led conflict.


Make soil fertile

Articles “Restoring soil fertility in Punjab” by Hardial Singh Dhillon (June 10) and “Bottlenecks in organic farming” by S S Chahal (June 9) should awaken the Punjab Government.

If the required measures are not taken in time to save the soil from losing its fertility, devastation is not far away.

The government must concentrate on ways to preserve animal manure/compost, both for saving the environment and to maintain and restore the health of the soil.

In order to increase agricultural production and productivity, Punjab has lost much of the vitality of its soil, which has been further aggravated by substantial lowering 
of the water table.

Use of excessive amounts of chemicals and fertilizers too has affected the soil adversely.

There is an urgent need to take suitable measures to make the soil fertile.


Lawyers’ test

The Bar Council of India’s decision to conduct an all-India entrance test for law graduates will certainly enhance the quality of legal education and thereby enable our legal practitioners to compete at international level.

The first examination is to be held in December 2010 and subsequently it will be held twice a year and a candidate can appear in the test any number of times. It is a significant decision and should be welcomed by all.


Leopard scare

The news report “Leopard terror lurks in Kasauli hills” (June 9) spread dread among the general public and guests and tourists coming to Kasauli who cancelled their bookings and reservations because of this unfounded fear that was created in the minds of the readers.

Kasauli is a small place, with a population of approximately 80,000 people. Wildlife is often seen during jungle fires or when there is heavy snow in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh.

Movement and migration of wildlife is totally harmless and there is no report that wild animals have harmed human beings.

ROCKY CHIMNI, Vice President, Kasauli Resorts Pvt Ltd, Kasauli

Manipur: Complex problem

The editorial “Fire fighting in Manipur” (June 10) was timely. However, the suggestions made are somewhat complicated in view of the ‘real’ demands by the Naga student bodies and NGOs. There are two reasons why economic blockades are being imposed. One is against the recent Autonomous District Councils (ADC) elections that were held in the five hill districts of Manipur and the other is, of course, against the ban on Muivah’s entry into his birthplace at Somdal in Manipur’s Ukhrul district.

Given the grave situation, one needs to understand the actual ‘demands’ by the Nagas. There are different communities or tribal people settled in the hill districts such as Nagas and Kukis. Nagas say the ‘imposed’ district elections are just an eyewash and have ‘suppressed’ the democratic rights of the people. The Nagas actually want a South Nagaland, one of the demands made by the NSCN –IM.

Manipur is like a mini India, having different communities. Yes, Meiteis are the largest community, but this doesn’t mean that they can suppress others’ ambitions. If one looks at the senior officers holding government positions 50 per cent are tribals, even though Meiteis constitute around 60 per cent of the population in the state. While tribals have a quota, Meiteis have to compete with the rest in all competitive examinations.

Coming to the second reason, we know that Muivah and his party NSCN- IM may be involved in peace talks with the Centre, but that doesn’t mean that he is free from criminal cases pending against him. Manipur has a democratic government. There are many separatist leaders who are wanted in Manipur and Muivah cannot be treated as a special one.




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